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AEA Convention Showcases Innovative Aviation Products

Living in the Air Capital, we’re interested in all things aviation. Our first love was the cloud-skimming, aerodynamic aircraft themselves. Our appreciation has continually expanded and deepened as we learn more about their complex systems, ongoing revolutionary marvels and impact to business overall. Those are on full display this week, March 26-29, at the 61st-annual Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) Convention at the MGM Grand Las Vegas.

The show, dedicated to the general aviation avionics industry, is considered a must-attend event for its target markets. It opened Monday with welcomes, awards – and its eagerly anticipated, marathon session of New Product Introductions (NPIs). Aero-News Network CEO and Editor-in-Chief Jim Campbell memorably summed up the session: “Basically, it’s where all the cool stuff happens.”

Transformative Technologies Open the Show

A rapt audience of 1,500-2,000 people representing general aviation media, avionics manufacturers, distributors and government-certified repair stations seemed more than pleased with the unveiled products and services from nearly 40 companies. Newsmaking new products included everything from autopilots, autothrottles, altitude digitizers, Bluetooth-controlled cabin niceties and game-changing inflight connectivity.

Our client SmartSky Networks was among the presenters. VP Business Aviation Alan Goodnight had the honor of introducing the first 4G LTE-based connectivity for light-jet and turboprop aircraft – a market segment previously dogged by extremely slow inflight internet. The new product, SmartSky LiTE™, delivers blazing-fast internet throughout the aircraft. This means connectivity for the flight deck and aircraft systems, as well as the cabin. Post-presentation comments seized upon the pilot benefits afforded by SmartSky LiTE™ customers’ access to such Skytelligence™-powered applications as fuel management, flight planning and weather monitoring. Keeping the family entertained in the cabin – streaming a live sporting event or movie, shopping online or even video chatting with friends back home – created buzz, too.

The demand for connectivity doesn’t diminish if you’re flying a Cessna Citation CJ4 instead of a Bombardier Global Express. Depending on your mission, you may require an aircraft that flies farther, holds more people or has lower operating costs – but the need for fast, reliable, inflight Wi-Fi remains unchanged.

See the New Product Introductions Yourself

Aero-News Network streamed the four-minute NPIs live. If you missed the livestreams, you can view the archived video reformatted into convenient, short features on AEA’s YouTube channel: Thank you, AEA.

The Aircraft Electronics Association’s headquarters in Lee’s Summit, Missouri (a suburb of Kansas City) gives it a central location from which to represent its nearly 1,300 member companies in 43 countries. Its 61-year history adds to the depth and quality of its offerings. From the convention buzz we’ve heard, AEA provides an invaluable platform for its members success. Hopefully for decades to come.

This column originally appeared in the March 28, 2018, issue of BlueSky News. 

Sonia Greteman Joins Junior Achievement Wichita Business Hall of Fame



Sonia Greteman Joins Junior Achievement Wichita Business Hall of Fame

WICHITA, Kan. – Junior Achievement of Kansas inducted its newest Wichita Business Hall of Fame Laureates at a tribute dinner at the Hyatt Regency the evening of March 13. It includes Sonia Greteman, president and creative director, Greteman Group; Steve Cox, owner, Cox Machine; and Bob Geist, owner, RAGE, Inc.

Laureates are chosen based on business excellence, entrepreneurial spirit, community impact, leadership style, local influence and enduring legacy. Past laureates welcomed the new class of honorees.

“This induction is such an unforeseen honor,” says Greteman. “I hold these fellow entrepreneurs and business people in high esteem. Business builds and fuels community. It realizes what others may miss. It takes guts to see ideas through.

“I was told early in my career, when working as a designer at Boeing Wichita, that I was like fuchsia silk in a gray-flannel world. I took that as a compliment and used my nonconformity to think and act differently. That included launching a woman-owned marketing agency that specialized in a male-dominated industry. Our base in the Air Capital helped make our aviation positioning work, which has allowed us to deepen our impact.”

Past Laureates include 2016 Ron Holt, Cindy Carnahan and Claude and Ron Mann; 2015 Paul Allen, Bill Livingston and Steve Martens; 2014 Jim Hattan, Ann Konecny and Sheryl Wolford; 2013 J.V. Lentell, Steve Clark and Patty Koehler; 2012 Robert Schaefer, William Moore, The DeVore Family and Joe Johnson; 2011 Dr. George J. Farha, Dr. S. Jim Farha, Phil Ruffin and Richard Smith; 2010 Anita Oberwortmann, David and Darrel Rolph and the Schwan Family; 2009 E.W. Pete Armstrong, Jeff Turner and Ted and Betty Vlamis; 2008 George Fahnestock, Helen Galloway and Al Higdon; 2006 Barry Downing and Bill Hanna.
The complete list dates back to 1986. For that inaugural event, business luminaries honored posthumously include Walter and Olive Ann Beech, Clyde Cessna, Jesse Chisholm, William Coleman, James Davidson, William Greiffenstein and Marshall Murdock.

“In short, our Hall of Fame Laureates include the who’s who of Wichita business,” says Marci Werne, Junior Achievement of Kansas district director. “Our goal is to inspire young people to follow in the laureates’ footsteps. They certainly inspire me.”

Greteman’s long list of personal achievements include a special governor’s appointment, American Advertising Federation lifetime-achievement award, American Marketing Association marketer of the year, Broadcast and Media Professionals hall of fame, Donna Sweet Humanitarian of the Year, Wichita Aero Club founding board member and more. She gives back by serving on multiple industry and community boards.

“Every community hopes to have a creative genius that builds in place an organization of world renown,” says past Laureate Cindy Carnahan, president, The Carnahan Group. “Someone whose mark is recognized throughout an industry and thus giving distinction back to the place she calls home.”

Greteman Group has developed an international reputation as an aviation-specialty marketing agency based in Wichita, Kan. – the Air Capital. Leading aircraft manufacturers, flight support, aftermarket services, fractional ownership, insurance, in-flight Wi-Fi, regional airlines and airport analytics entrust their brands to Greteman Group. These include FlightSafety International, SmartSky Networks, Executive AirShare, Wichita Eisenhower National Airport, USAIG, Piedmont Airlines, Aviation Partners and Associated Aircraft Group. It also supports causes and clients such as the Kansas State Fair, The Saint Francis Foundation, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Global Polymer, PDS Med and Verus Bank. Greteman Group has won Telly, Internet Advertising Competition, Metro and Business Marketing Association Pro-Comm awards. It has been recognized in such publications as Adweek, Advertising Age, Aldus, Communication Arts, Designing Identity, Identity, Graphic Design USA, Graphis, Hotels, HOW, Novum, Print, Step-By-Step, and by such organizations as the Mead Top 60, Kansas City Art Directors, Strathmore, International Festivals, Graphex Art Directors, and The National Library Council, American Advertising Federation, American Institute of Graphic Artists, Public Relations Society of America, and American Marketing Association. The firm is a founding member of the Wichita Aero Club. Greteman Group is a longstanding member of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and is a certified women-owned business enterprise (WBE).

Read coverage of Sonia Greteman’s Junior Achievement Honor:

Sonia Greteman Honors Parents in Junior Achievement Speech

Many people have complimented Sonia on her moving comments at the Junior Achievement Wichita Business Hall of Fame tribute dinner. So, we decided to share them here. The big takeaway? Mentors matter. And when they’re your parents, even better.

I hit the lottery at my birth, as the daughter of Ken and Judy Greteman.

We didn’t have a lot of money. We had something better. Time. Dad coached my softball and basketball teams teaching me early lessons in teamwork, how much fun it is to win. But if you lose, do it with dignity. Learn from it and move on.

He taught me how to use a camera at an early age and how to print photos in our basement darkroom.  It was gratifying to see the images come to life, discovering light and shadow. We had a little photo business at 81 Speedway, with real paying clients. Dad snapped the shots of the proud drivers next to their jalopies. We printed them during the week and I sold the prints, working the photo booth every Saturday night. $1.25 for an 8 x 10, black-and-white glossy.

It was then and there I decided that someday I wanted my own business.

He instilled in me a strong work ethic, but the best lesson he taught me was to whistle a happy tune. Anyone who knows dad knows what I am talking about here.

Keep your head up and do the right thing.

Mom was my Brownie and Girl Scout leader, helping me with badges, camping, selling cookies, building social skills and planting early seeds about community involvement. Mom taught  me to stand up for myself, have an opinion and not be afraid to share my point of view. She was a role model. I witnessed her writing numerous letters to the editor when she felt teachers deserved better or politicians were not making the right decisions.

Each year during her teaching career, she made sure her underprivileged students had coats and gloves when the winter winds began to blow. She built the TOP library in Oaklawn (with a little help from the Downings) and worked hard to make it her own.

She was an early activist teaching me it’s your duty to speak up, and help out. Make your corner of the world a better place.

I had the best of both worlds with my folks. My dad, the easy- going, entrepreneurial, Boeing photographer. My mom, the activist librarian, reader and researcher who understood the power of a well- placed word.

I’m lucky to love what I do for a living – I get to make things every day, using the skills I was taught in childhood. Combining word and image to create something bigger. More powerful and lasting.

I’ve had many mentors, friends, and people who have believed in me over the years and I’m grateful for all of them. Everyone in this room knows you can’t go it alone. But I was fortunate to have JA in my DNA. Not all kids have that advantage. Nothing beats getting these lessons early and often. Thank you, mom and dad.

I thank Junior Achievement for its good work and the recognition of Greteman Group.

I thank Mike Michaelis, Patricia McDonnell and my husband of 33 years, Chris Brunner, for their heartfelt comments included in the video. I hope tonight raises a significant amount of money to help young girls dream big. I’m honored to be included with Bob Geist and Steve Cox and appreciate our corner of the world; Wichita, Kansas. Big enough for opportunity, small enough to care.

Ken and Judy Greteman with Sonia Greteman and Chris Brunner

Welcome back, NCAA. We’re ready for you.

Twenty-four years is a long time.

So long ago that when Wichita, the city, last made an appearance on the NCAA men’s basketball tournament’s largest stage, I was watching in my college dorm, cheering on my favorite team, 900 miles away in Michigan.

What I knew about Wichita, a place I had never visited, in a state I’d never been to, was pretty much nil. This naïve 19-year-old (who still had hair) couldn’t have told you anything about the aviation business that made Wichita famous or that a Shocker wasn’t something that warned against electrical surges.

All that changed a couple of years later when I first visited the city. Wichita was in the process of adding a towering hotel to its skyline and change seemed in the air.

INTRUST Bank Arena Hosts NCAA First and Second Rounds

I moved here the next year – the perfect time to do so.

In the 20 years I’ve lived in the Air Capital, Wichita has faced many challenges and has drawn upon its pioneering, get-it-done spirit to address them.

Progress in the Heart of the City

This week’s NCAA tournament represents a great opportunity to reflect on the city’s progress. A visitor who came to the Kansas Coliseum in 1994 wouldn’t recognize the town. Even one who was here a decade ago wouldn’t.

Seeing banners around Wichita welcoming fans to the greatest American sporting event should swell our hearts with pride.

The downtown INTRUST Bank Arena replaced the outdated and poorly designed Coliseum eight years ago. Without it, we wouldn’t be in the running for this tournament, or the one that follows in 2021. Numerous concerts would’ve skipped Wichita, and thousands of would-be visitors might never have spent a dollar in our city.

Let’s not forget the arena hosted the NCAA women’s tournament in 2011, posting the highest attendance for a completely neutral site that year. Wichita State has made the arena a second home, and we proudly turn the town purple every other year for the Kansas State Wildcats. The top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks make their arena debut this week.


ICT Makes a Dazzling Impression

Many of this year’s visitors will fly into Eisenhower National Airport’s still-gleaming new terminal. They’ll be greeted with outstanding amenities and a colorful array of installations, teaching the vast and rich history of Wichita’s unmatched place in aviation. The city produces more airplanes – almost 300,000 to date – and offers more highly skilled aviation workers than any city on the planet.

Downtown’s transformation will astonish.

Wichita’s locally designed flag recently celebrated its 80th anniversary, but its radiant red, white and blue design has never been more popular or omnipresent. Still-in construction projects, such as Cargill’s Old Town headquarters and the Advanced Learning Library on the river, complement complex restoration, returning buildings such as the Union Station and the Ambassador Hotel to their architectural glory.

Dine Well, Explore More

Residents come to visit businesses nationally recognized for their food, drink or atmosphere. Looking for the state’s best beer bar? Or its top barbecue? Come to Wichita. And there’s no way that the Doo-Dah Diner won’t have lines out the door this week, as national broadcasters continue to lavish it with praise.

Wichita’s craft beer scene has exploded, with Douglas Avenue serving as the main connector between Central Standard Brewing, the Hopping Gnome, River City, Third Place and Aero Plains. Food Network star Alton Brown has called Wichita “one of my favorite coffee towns in the United States.” He frequently visits Reverie Coffee. NCAA attendees should, too. It’s close by on east Douglas and just expanded into a new space with food, adult beverages and a bakery.

The unique flavors and atmospheres at Tanya’s Soup Kitchen and The Donut Whole helped spur a previously neglected section of Douglas.

Q Line Trolley Wichita KansasBike shares, dedicated bike lanes and free trolley service make getting around downtown easy and convenient. The Old Town entertainment district, in its infancy a quarter-century ago, now thrives with live music, movies and restaurants. Each June, a revamped Riverfest entertains crowds with a diverse concert lineup. More than 15 years strong, the Tallgrass Film Festival draws cinephiles from across the country.

The museums on the river, including Exploration Place, the Mid-America All-Indian Center, the Wichita Art Museum, an expanded Botanica and Cow Town offer family-friendly off-day destinations. The Keeper of the Plains, the city’s iconic symbol, stands higher than in 1994. It’s the perfect vista for tourists and locals alike to see the city skyline. An $18 million riverbank project added a dedicated plaza at the confluence of Wichita’s two rivers.

Here in the Douglas Design District, Wichita’s artists have painted murals throughout the area, showing off our city’s creative talents. Even Kellogg – despite the jokes we make about its perpetual construction – is a vastly improved artery of traffic for visitors.

Celebrating All of Wichita

biking in wichita keeper of the plains

The positive changes aren’t limited to downtown. Another 1,000 words could be written on our newest cultural landmark, Mark Arts, or Wichita State’s Innovation Campus.

And is there a more welcome noise than the roar of a B-29’s engines overhead as Doc returns to active duty as the city’s greatest ambassador?

As we roll out the red carpet this week to our new friends from Lawrence, Ann Arbor or Houston, take a moment to appreciate where we’ve come as a city and where we’re going.

Maybe some of these visitors will be proud to call Wichita home by the next time NCAA hoops returns. I plan to be here cheering on the teams – and my adopted hometown.

Photos courtesy Q Line Trolley photo courtesy Downtown Wichita.

Shape Your Brand Personality

If you’re developing a new brand, or refining an existing one, thinking about brand personality is a great place to start. Why? You want your brand to connect with people and feel relatable. To engender their trust and confidence. To stand apart from the competition in real and meaningful ways. Just as you prefer doing business with someone you like, you choose brands that reflect shared attributes and values.

Pleasing Personality Pays Off

Stanford Graduate School of Business professor and behavioral psychologist Jennifer Aaker, Ph.D., famously developed five core dimensions of brand personality, each with a set of facets. While considerable research had been done on human personality, little if any existed on brand personality. She published her findings in the Journal of Marketing Research in 1997. A numeric value can be generated by applying a five-point scale to each, with 1 not at all descriptive and 5 extremely descriptive.

  • Sincerity (down-to-earth, honest, wholesome, cheerful)
  • Excitement (daring, spirited, imaginative, up-to-date)
  • Competence (reliable, intelligent, successful)
  • Sophistication (upper class, charming)
  • Ruggedness (outdoorsy, tough)

Aaker’s research provides an insightful framework for exploring a brand’s personality and guiding conversations. Our agency has developed hundreds of brands over our 29 years in business, each with a distinct personality. Getting to a brand’s essence is one of our favorite client exercises. We gather key decision makers together in a discovery workshop. A conference table full of words and wall full of images get the ideas flowing. The volley begins when we start voting on and discussing choices, then presenting our rationale. We keep winnowing the words and images down until we settle on the one or two that best sum up the brand personality. We also rank the words and images we hate. It’s funny, but knowing what you strongly dislike helps uncover what you love.

Does Your Brand Smile or Scowl?

Could it be time to give your brand a personality check? Can you quickly define which one is you? If not maybe, it’s time for a tune up. If it’s an existing brand, a survey to customers and stakeholders could be in order. Check in to see if what they think about your brand matches what you believe they think about it. If you’re developing a new brand, you could survey prospective customers. Once you feel you have a good handle on the brand personality, match it against your marketing materials and outreach. Do they align? Adjustment may be in order.

Keep squarely within the realm of truth. If you want your company’s brand personality to be down-to-earth and honest, but people perceive it as the opposite of that, focus your attention on your operations first, not your marketing. Make the brand live up to your vision for it. Then tell your story so your brand personality comes through consistently, powerfully and memorably. Good things will come as a result. Brand preference is inexorably linked with brand personality.

This column originally ran in the March 7, 2018, issue of BlueSky News.

Add Online Video to Your 2018 Marketing Strategy

Marketing budgets keep getting cut and teams are consistently tasked to do more with less. In this ever-leaner landscape, do you get tired of trying to make the case for using more video in your marketing? Well, you’re right to keep making the effort. By 2019, 80 percent of all online content will be video. If that’s not argument enough, here are some additional supporting points to use the next time you approach your boss about the issue.

80 Percent of all online content will be videoApply Your Budget Strategically

Video generates greater recall. Research shows that 20 percent of people remember what they hear. 30 percent remember what they see. 70 percent remember what they hear and see. So, if you apply your budget to where it does the greatest good, that would have to include video.

Our pilot recruitment campaigns for Piedmont Airlines offer a good example. Repurposing creative content into video snippets help budgets go farther and provide the short bursts people engage with more. Is it working? Yes. The pilot recruitment campaign doubled monthly application goals in the first year.

Develop Deeper Associations

70 percent remember what they hear and see

Video’s one-two punch of sights and sounds connect at a gut level. Viewers don’t just absorb facts. They feel something. Use video to build your brand. Share who you are, what you do, how you do it, and why you’re the best option out there. Generate trust and instill confidence. People do business with people/companies they like.

Expand Your Definition of Video

More and more companies are publishing video of five seconds or less. Give preference to light, snackable content over heavy, over-stuffed banquets. 43 percent of video on social media are animated GIFs. 35 percent are 10- or 15-second videos.

Use video to build your brandInstagram Stories offer a good option. They’re easier to produce and because they don’t live online forever, there’s less urgency to make them perfect. We’ve been impressed by Garmin Aviation’s use of this platform, particularly at shows like Oshkosh. People can follow Garmin’s Instagram Stories throughout the event to see a wide range of aircraft equipped with Garmin’s world-class flight displays, autopilots and other avionics upgrades.

In addition to Facebook, Executive AirShare has been reaching out to pilots on Instagram. Its #PilotLife series gives prospects a taste of what it would be like to fly for the country’s third-largest fractional ownership program. Photos from pilots in the field supplement our video. A strong call to action with a dedicated link in Instagram’s bio takes them to deeper content on the EAS website, including a place to apply.

Light content over heavyRealize Cost Efficiencies

People want more organic, real video, which means fewer big-budget productions and less-slick, more journalistic efforts. This doesn’t mean poor quality or poorly thought through video, only that everything doesn’t have to be at the level of your tradeshow booth video or new-product commercial.

This column originally appeared in the March 1, 2018, issue of BlueSky News.